Hebrew Consonants -
Common Grammatical Functions of the Hebrew Letters
Four grammatical categories of letters can be made of the twenty two consonants of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet:
Category One: Root Letter Only
Though all letters of the Hebrew alphabet can be used to form the shoresh or root of a word, 12 letters (indicated in the table below as shaded items) can ONLY be used as root letters:
Fey, Sin, and Tet are the root letters(the Lamed at the beginning is a prefix letter).
Category Two: Root Letter OR Prefix
The four highlighted letters can serve two functions: they may be either a root letter (see above) or they may be a prefix before the first letter of a root letter:
Hebrew letters functioning as prefixes are called Otiyot HaShimush (אוֹתִיּוֹת הַשִּׁמּוּש).
Category Three: Prefix OR Suffix
The five green-highlighted letters can serve two functions: they may be either a root letter (see above) or they may be either prefix before the first letter of a root letter or a suffix:
Prefix or Suffix Letters
Category Four: Prefix OR Suffix OR Infix
Vav and Yod are undoubtedly the most flexible letters of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, functioning as root letters, prefixes, suffixes, and infixes.
Vav and Yod
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